Seasickness, like other forms of motion sickness, is thought to occur when there's a conflict between what your eyes, inner ears (which help with your balance) or sensory nerves sense. Often on a cruise you may not be able to see with your eyes that the boat is rocking, however your ears are more susceptible to sensing it. This results in mixed signals being sent to your brain which can result in nausea and vomiting.
To put it in layman's terms, seasickness is a matter of sensory mismatch. In other words, when you’re sitting on a boat that is travelling over water, the body, inner ears and eyes all send different signals to the brain. This results in your brain becoming confused and you feeling queasy. Instead of trying to distract yourself in the hope that the feeling goes away, head up onto deck and keep your head up and look out onto the horizon, which is usually relatively stable. This is a great technique for your brain and your peripheral vision, as it allows your brain to feel steady as opposed to rocky.
Yes, you heard right. Coke contains phosphoric acid and sugars, which are the same ingredients you’ll find in Emetrol, an over-the-counter anti-nausea medicine. Coca-Cola was first introduced as a medicine. Who knew?
For centuries, traditional Chinese medicine has included things like acupuncture as a way to suppress the nausea associated with motion sickness. Make a trip to your local drug store to purchase pressure bands such as Sea-Band and Acuband to help prevent sea sickness from occurring.
Of course you’re not going to spend the entire time on your cruise with your eyes closed, but when you are starting to feel seasick, it’s worth finding a place to have a quiet lie down so that you are able to relax a bit better. That way your eyes aren’t giving a no-motion message to your brain.
If you do suffer with seasickness then our Cruise Consultants recommend booking a cabin which is low down in mid deck, this is where you’ll find least sensation of movement on the ship.
You may think finding things to do to distract yourself from your seasickness is the way forward, but in fact this can only add to it. It could make you feel disorientated and unable to concentrate, so save reading for a time when you feel 100% so as to not worsen your symptoms.
Many of our Cruise Consultants have worked on the cruise ships and one of their top tips for sea sickness is to eat something. Green apples, ginger beer and crackers are some of the best foods for settling your stomach. In fact you may be able to tell if you’re heading for choppy waters if you start to see these items popping up around the ship for you to take.
One of the most popular forms of fighting seasickness is by taking a seasickness pills. Many people choose this option because it’s simple and they find it can be very effective. However, the pills can cause drowsiness and fuzzy thinking, so be sure to see your GP before making any decisions. If you think you might get seasick, it’s best to take the medication sooner rather than later when you’re feeling nauseous. The pill can take 30 to 60 minutes to take effect. If you forget to pack seasickness medication, try asking the onboard staff as most members of the crew will have easy access to seasickness tablets.
Scopolamine is a drug that reduces the activity of nerve fibres in your inner ear and it’s one of the most successful commercial seasickness solutions around. The dose is steady from the acupressure-inspired patch, but like with all medication be aware of the side effects and follow the instructions carefully. The patch can be discreetly placed behind your ear.
It’s a good idea to open a window or move to the top deck of a ship to avoid getting too hot. This will allow you to get a good supply of fresh air, which could help to reduce your chances of sickness.
Often people find themselves worrying about becoming seasick, which only fuels the discomfort. Try to remain relaxed throughout your holiday for a greater chance of feeling yourself.